The European Parliament's environment committee this evening voted to reject a decision to introduce 'real driving emissions' (RDE) tests for measuring compliance with EU car pollution limits. The controversial decision by EU governments would create tests with such major loopholes ('compliance factors') that it would enable car manufacturers to produce and market cars that exceed EU legal limits on pollutants permanently and by a significant factor. The European Parliament will now vote as a whole on the proposal to reject the RDE test decision, most likely in January. Commenting after the vote, Greens/EFA vice-president and environment spokesperson Bas Eickhout said:
"Today's vote is an important step towards overturning the outrageous decision by EU governments on creating a fundamentally-flawed driving emissions test procedure.
"This test, as it stands, would essentially overwrite EU limits on pollutants from cars. This would be an insult to EU citizens who suffer from air pollution. As a direct response to the 'diesel-gate' scandal, it would seriously damage the credibility of the EU to regulate the car industry. It would also represent a coup on the EU's democratic decision-making process by de facto rewriting EU rules that were agreed with and voted on by the European Parliament.
"Against this background, we hope the European Parliament as a whole will now follow through and send the European Commission back to the drawing board. We need real driving emissions tests that do what it says on the tin: with no exemptions and which ensure all cars approved for the market comply with the EU's pollutant limits. We know this is technically possible, as many carmakers already do. Anything else would be a failure for the EU."